Still no word on whether Justin Duchscherer will accept the A’s arbitration offer. He has until 9 p.m. (Pacific time) tonight to decide. This is pivotal for the A’s. If Duchscherer accepts arbitration, he’s an Athletic for 2010. The pitcher and the team would go to an arbitration hearing in February to decide his salary, or they could negotiate a contract before then.
It’s a tricky decision for Duchscherer. He could opt to test free agency, but he’d probably be looking at a one-year deal with a low base salary, with performance incentives giving him the chance to make much more. Were he to accept arbitration and return to the A’s, he’d probably earn a higher base salary. But since he missed all of last season (he had elbow surgery and then was diagnosed with depression), it might not be as much as last year’s $3.9 million figure.
Duchscherer strongly prefers starting over relieving, and that’s definitely where he could fill the biggest need for the A’s. But it might be a moot point if he declines arbitration in a few hours …